Explanation Of the NHTSA "Ease Of Use" ratings & Actual "Ease Of Use" Ratings Of Most Carseats
One lady tried out different popular carseats to measure torso to slot height of various seats to determine length of use possibilities on 6 top carseats. You can find her posting HERE!
Her findings are as follows:
From tallest to shortest...
1. Britax Frontier
2. Graco Nautilus
3. Sunshine Kids Radian
4 & 5. Compass/First Years TruFit & Evenflo Triumph Advance
6. Britax Marathon
Aiden is 6.5 years old, 40lbs, 46.5" tall, with a 16.25" torso.
Frontier... in top slots with about 1.5" to grow
Nautilus... in top slots with about 1" to grow
Radian... in top slots with about .75" to grow
TruFit... just over top slots (outgrown)
Triumph Advance... just over top slots (outgrown)
Marathon... over top slots (outgrown)
Mikkel is 29lbs, 38.5", with a 13.75" torso.
Frontier... 4th notch from the top slots with at least 4" of growing room
Nautilus... even with 2nd from top slots with about 3.5" of growing room
Radian... even with 2nd from top slots with about 3" of growing room
TruFit... even with 2nd from top slots with about 2" of growing room
Triumph Advance... about 2" of growing room (to the top harness setting - slit in cover goes higher)
Marathon... top slots with about 1.5" of growing room
There is a whole forum with user reviews of MANY carseats HERE!
Another comparison listing HERE! from CarSeat.org.
One from Carseatsite.com HERE!
Now I will give you a run down of some of the most popular convertible carseats on the market:
Sunshine Kids Radian XTSL (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 45lbs and forward faces up to 80lbs and 53in tall. $299.99 In 6 colors.
Britax Boulevard 70CS (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 40lbs and forward faces to 70lbs and 49in tall(16.75 seated in. height). $340.00 In 6 colors.
The First Years True Fit Premier Convertible Carseat (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 35lbs and forward faces to 65lbs and 50in tall. $249.99 In 14 colors.
Evenflo Symphony 65 e3 TruTether All-in-One Carseat (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 40lbs and forward faces w/harness to 65lbs/50in and as belt-positioning booster to 100lbs/57in. $249.99 2 colors
Safety 1st Complete Air 65 (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 40lbs/40in. and forward faces to 65lbs and 52in tall. $189.99 6 colors
Cosco Scenera 40RF Convertible Carseat (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 40lbs/43in. and forward faces to 40lbs. $50.00 2 colors
Graco Smart Seat All-in-One Carseat (Link HERE)
It rear-faces to 40lbs and forward faces w/harness to 65lbs and as belt-positioning booster to 100lbs. $299.99 5 colors